The Cradles – Do You Wonder Why? – Single Review

The Welsh band The Cradles released their début single Do You Wonder Why? through Vivid Riot a couple of days ago.

The Cradles - Do You Wonder Why? artwork

The Cradles – Do You Wonder Why? artwork

Opening with the title track the music drifts dreamily into the room to a fanfare of percussion and bass before slowly coalescing in to a sound which builds and gains in munificence as it develops. Scintillating sharpened guitars gleam around the room whilst a vocal, tremulous with sympathy, rounds off the whole piece. A delightful introduction to a band who are able to expose the innards of the context.

The second track You Won’t Find Anyone Else has a mixture of  ’60s pop feel and a Lynchian film score to it. A thriving hive of activity within which The Cradles is able to both pack the two minutes with notes, yet also find the space to develop the drama of the piece.

Sadly the whole thing is over in just four and a half minutes. Yet that brief space of time is filled with music that seems to extend the seconds in which they deliver multifarious textures as the quintet each play an integral part to the build-up of the whole.

Given the début, The Cradles is a band to get to know and enjoy.

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Mincer Ray – Fellow Traveler – LP Review

Mincer Ray – based in Germany who were originally reviewed just over a year ago – when they were a trio and now quartet – and featured in the New Year Ninety 2014 have a new LP scheduled for release.

Mincer Ray - Fellow Traveler - artwork

Mincer Ray – Fellow Traveler – artwork

The ten track LP Fellow Traveler, as befits Mincer Ray, is an eclectic mix of moods which opens with I Sold My Soul To The Man & Now I Feel Ashamed a track with a title almost as long as the seventy seconds of music – a garagey lo-fi production sets the scene for the release.

A Pickaxe From My Mom is a fuzzy fast paced number an a song that highlights the humour of the musicians along with a catchy-hook that gets the head nodding in time. This I like very much.

Backwards Walkin’ is a strangely addictive country acoustic number in which Mincer Ray play with the formula to raise a smile for all those who hear it.

Great Tunk National Park brings in another mood completely as the band head off to a superbly rippling bass-line prior to heading to a collision of instruments and for its very chaotic nature this is worth getting hold of a copy of the LP for this track alone.

Closing out the first half of Fellow Traveler is Non-Denominational & Friendly which gives the band the opportunity to almost play it straight, though not quite, in a piece that flows from the saintly to the abstruse.

Bassmaster is of a different animal altogether as Mincer Ray head back to territory in which they excel with a fuzzy even paced psychedelic rock number, which shows the musicians in a completely different light, as they bring in sensitivity to the track.

Grand Tunk Plastic Lake again plays as a more serious composition and the combinations of sounds is an example of how the band are not only about enjoying making music, but they have the ability to write songs with complex interplay. My pick of the release as the droning metronomic bass is showered with sparks of gently interspersed melody, whilst percussion scatters in the background.

The Daily Motion + Arctic Drift is a melodramatic fast paced, almost military marching with a relentless driving beat until suddenly slowing to a funereal pace as the track closes out, giving the whole composition a poignancy.

Couch Neighbor Catherine is the longest piece on the track at just over five minutes in which the vocal is pushed to the fore in a surreal track.

Closing out My Fellow Traveler which is very much an LP of two halves is Das Grüne Tor that once again brings in the theme of crossed beat and melody. It is the ability of the band to switch things around both with ease and appropriately which makes their material something to look forward to, particularly as anticipating what will appear, is always a toss of a coin.

Not a band who will instantly engage those who are looking for straight up music, but, for those who like to explore the recesses there are few finer exponents than Mincer Ray.

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Dor – grey, north carolina – LP Review

It was back in October of last year I introduced the indietronic outfit- Dor from the USA. They have just released a fifteen track LP – grey, north carolina.

Dor - grey, north carolina - artwork

Dor – grey, north carolina – artwork

Opening with the appropriately named – wake as we stand poised at the opening of a just over an hour long release and Dor produce sounds you would anticipate – shimmers of electronic laden percussion and guitar flood the room.

standing, Waiting is a number lasting just over seven minutes and the tempo for grey, north carolina is set, a mix of lengthy tracks juxtaposed against shorter pieces. This has a lighter texture than anticipated and I reminded somewhat of an uptempo Enigma with the latent textures.

route is an intriguing composition with the acoustic guitar caught amidst the electronic kit and caboodle and a fine piece of innovation.

Next comes tryptophan, which much like the amino acid it is named after shares spikes of the pentagon in the molecular structure and finds the first voices on the release.

day.dream is far from a somnambulism as the perky progression evokes of a world scurrying blithely towards its own myopic implosion and my pick of the release.

Closing the first half of grey, north carolina is plane down over lake james, the longest track on the release at just over ten minutes and one in which Dor demonstrate their extraordinary ability to create music which evokes emotion without anything ever being stated.

Followed immediately by the shortest piece at seventy seconds automat. Dor demand much of their listeners, both imaginatively and intellectually. It is for this very reason – the assumption made by the band that the audience has a brain – that I particularly enjoy their music. Nothing is spoon-fed, but it is all available, merely asking of us to engage the cerebrum into gear and away from neutral.

shoreline is next, with sounds that bend back and forth in speed to discombobulate the brain further and as a fine example of the internal thought processing of the band and the rationale of their intentions, I can think of no finer example on the release and is worth the price of the LP on its own merit.

Heading towards the end of grey, north carolina and Dor give the head no respite with you wont remember – nine and a quarter minutes of sustained and slowly evolving drone. A startling sublime piece of sonic creativity I wish went on for another ninety two and a half minutes.

ad interim is another sub two minute piece, that once again demonstrates the ability of the duo to surprise the listener with track placement as once again a subsumed analogue vocal is deployed through fuzzing static.

so still is remarkable for it very lightness and pitch when set against the preceding tracks and the audience is lifted from their concentration of the past fifty minutes with a prelude to the finale….

kurhus. Which is a centre for Neuro Rehabilitation in Denmark. A fine and appropriate ending to an LP which challenges preconceptions and demands the audience use their own brain. This is how music should be, questioning, not prescriptive and I wish Dor all the best with grey, north carolina, which is available on bandcamp.

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Propeller – You Remind Me of You – Single Review

Propeller, the USA based outfit first look back in March of last year have just released a double A side single.

Propeller - You Remind Me Of You - Artwork

Propeller – You Remind Me Of You – Artwork

A long holiday weekend over here and what better way to start off the Bank Holiday Monday than with sounds of summer, particularly given that we have (over here in the UK) had the unexpected pleasure of good weather and Propeller give the day the start it needs with the new release.

You Remind Me Of You, is something of an appropriate title as the song contains influences that are recognizable, however they add their signature fuzz and garage fade to deliver a sound that just makes you pleased that the duo create music.

What A Way To Feel resonates of sparkling champagne guitars and even if you don’t live within striking reach of the beach, you just want to find some water and light a fire to dance around to celebrate being alive.

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EdTang & The Chops – Eponymous – EP Review

EdTang & The Chops from the USA release their eponymous five track EP on the 16th May.

EdTang & The Chops - EP artwork

EdTang & The Chops – EP artwork

Opening with When Death Should Find Us and immediately there is no doubt that is the same EdTang & The Chops I reviewed back in August of last year as immediately my feet feel the need to join in and my furrowed brow lifts to a smiling visage. Which given the subject of the song may seem to be an anomaly. A great opener and worth the cost of the release by itself.

Next up comes Willy Loman and in this piece the quintet take the sound right back to the roots of their influences with more than a hint of blues country rock that just demands the volume is flicked upwards. Intriguingly at 1:15, which is repeated at intervals through the song there is an electro-organ sounding interlude from a song I know well, but can’t place, but know it was something to do with electro-pop from England. A great eulogy to the Arthur MillerDeath Of A Salesman character.

Brothers In The Way Back takes a sway towards bluegrass and although the vocal I so much is enjoy, is always to the foreground through the EP, here it is given a showcase on which the mind can focus. Keep up the whisky and cigarettes I implore… My pick of the release.

A Lapsed Catholic is almost the reverse of the last piece with ears being pinned towards the instrumental, which is given space to explore the guitars in more detail.

To finish is Leaving Of Liverpool , a decent cover of the original.

A harder edge to the material that has preceded it, the EP marks a fine step in the development of EdTang & The Chops.

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